Note: I am a current Tello customer (one line PAYGO, one line $9.00 plan – total charge $9.60/billing cycle for unlimited talk and text, 500 MB LTE with unlimited 2G after the LTE runs out) as well as a TracFone (Pay As You Go – PAYGO) customer. I have previously been a Ting customer (multiple lines ported from RingPlus when it stopped offering phone service) and Twigby customer. Over the years, I have had service with Boost Mobile, Cricket, T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, and a few smaller MVNOs.
Tello, Twigby, and Ting all include Sprint CDMA options as did Unreal Mobile. In that sense, this is an apple to apple comparison. I am also comparing the general amounts of talk, text, and data I use in an average billing cycle. Here’s an older post for Tello Vs. Twigby Comparison. Addit: Sprint coverage is very good in the handful of areas where I use my Sprint CDMA phones.
From what I read of the FreedomPop / Unreal Mobile porting to Ting is some people are going to be hit with some unexpected charges. A friend has several Unreal Mobile lines that were ported to Ting. He thinks it’s only going to be $6/line, but the way I read https://ting.com/rates that’s the base and any talk, text, data used during the billing cycle will add to that base $6/line charge. The only advantage he may have is the shared usage pool if he had all of the lines on one Unreal Mobile account.
Nope, not a plan. Your usage is pooled and shared across all the devices you have under your account. Just use what you need and settle up at the end of your billing cycle.
I say go with whichever cell phone company plan or PAYGO you like. What the below information does is show a rough comparison of costs between the three companies. I know plenty of customers and former customers with all of these companies on both sides of the line (loving – disliking).
Okay, in response to a Facebook comment on my Facebook blog page as well as a response from a Ting employee, a big thank you for the Ting response, on – Unreal Mobile / FreedomPop Update for Those Using Sprint CDMA Phones July 16, 2019, here’s a breakdown of a cost comparison between Tello, Twigby, and Ting. I don’t need unlimited talk and text although it’s nice to have, and Ting doesn’t offer a flat charge for unlimited talk and text (unless I missed something). I looked at the average usage of 500 talk minutes and 25 – 100 texts I send or receive during a billing cycle. I also went with 500 MB or 1 GB LTE, depending on which was offered by each company. I can’t remember if Twigby offers unlimited 2G once LTE runs out, but I usually run out of LTE pretty early in the billing cycle. With Unreal Mobile, I had unlimited talk and text, 1 GB LTE with unlimited 2G once the LTE was used up. For Unreal Mobile, my bill was $12.99 ($10.00 + $2.99 in various fees, taxes, surcharges, etc.). Done in alphabetical order –
On the other hand, my Tello phone that was Pay As You Go (PAYGO) where $10 got me pretty limited talk and text which would last me a year as it was a back-up phone. I upgraded my Tello from PAYGO to unlimited talk and text with 500 MB LTE and unlimited 2G once the LTE was used only costs me $9.00 + fees of $0.60 for a total of $9.60.
I upgraded my Tello line from PAYGO to the $9.00 plan once my Unreal Mobile phone stopped charging and I cancelled my auto-pay with Unreal Mobile as they wouldn’t sell me a replacement phone. I am guessing due to the impending changes with Red Pocket and the porting out of Sprint CDMA lines to Ting.
The main difference between Tello and Unreal Mobile for me was a slight problem accessing my blog on Tello that wasn’t usually an issue with Unreal Mobile. This could be more of an issue that my Unreal Mobile refurbished phone was several years newer and had a newer version of the Android OS than my Tello phone.
One thing I love about Tello and TracFone is the PAYGO option. Some other companies offer it, but Ting and Twigby don’t. For example, on my two Tello phones, $10 a year/line allowed me to keep the phones active as back-up phones as I rarely came close to using the allowances. Twigby would cost me $9.00/month for the cheapest talk (300 minutes with unlimited text and no data) option. Ting would cost me $9.00 for 100 minutes or $15.00 for 500 minutes, both with no text and no data.
Ting doesn’t have a similar plan of unlimited talk and text, Using an estimated 500 minutes talk ($9.00), 100 texts ($3.00), 501 MB – 1 GB data ($16.00), plus $6.00 for having one line = $34.00/billing cycle and I don’t remember how much Ting adds extra charges, fees, and taxes charged by the federal, state, and local governments.
I am not a fan of the $6/line fee that Ting charges simply for having a line. They would be better off charging a minimum plan amount like Tello and Twigby do.
In comparison, Twigby would run me 500 minutes ($11) or unlimited talk ($13), 1 GB LTE ($6.00), total of $19.00 if I went with the unlimited talk and text, but the first 6 months is 25% right now so $14.25. Again, not sure how much the various fees and taxes add up. But it’s still a better deal than Ting.
I experienced Ting when RingPlus transferred my phones to Ting a few years ago. I ported two lines out and cancelled the other lines as the limits on how much credit they would count each billing cycle from my RingPlus balances made it not worth the cost.
I had issues with my Unreal Mobile refurbished phone and told them I needed a replacement phone and Unreal was unwilling to sell me one probably because they were transititioning to Red Pocket and selling off the CDMA Sprint numbers to Ting. I was in the middle of porting out my Unreal Mobile number, but since it’s been auto-ported to Ting, I have to start over.
I had no problems with Twigby, but I found Tello offering a PAYGO option better fit my needs at the time for the two lines I originally ported to Tello as they were emergency back-up phones.
I kept my PAYGO TracFone because there are a couple of friends who will only call or text my TracFone line. The cost to keep the line is pretty minimal as I usually get a 30, 60, or 90 day card, ranging from $9.99 to $35.00, maybe $45 – 60/year. My current expiration date is April 2020 and as I use my Tello phone for most other calls, I won’t run out of talk or text anytime soon. I use so little data on my TracFone that I probably won’t run out of it. The 30, 60, or 90 day cards add to my expiration date which is a cool feature.